Strength is a good thing. Defined as, “able to withstand great force or pressure,” it can apply to many aspects of our lives. We can be strong physically, mentally, spiritually or even in our character. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about strength and what it really takes to get stronger.
The development of strength is an interesting process. The easiest aspect to look at is physical strength because it is the only one that we can literally see. It is common knowledge that you develop physical strength by working your muscles. But do you know how the process actually works?
If we want our muscles to grow, we need to break them down first. By adding stress (lifting weights or doing hard work), the muscle fibers actually get damaged. After the initial damage, your body quickly acts to heal the muscle. As it regrows and heals, it becomes bigger and stronger so that it can handle that same activity easier the next time. Interestingly, your workout in the gym is just part of the process – the tearing down part. The next 24 – 48 hours is when the vital regrowth is happening. Trainers tell us that rest and eating the right food are both necessary during this next period so that the muscles can have the right conditions for ideal growth.
What about spiritual growth?
The Bible talks a lot about being strong. Ephesians 6:10 literally says we are to be strong in the Lord.
I think that as I was growing up I translated be strong as showing a momentary use of courage. Now I don’t think that is correct. I think that spiritual strength follows the same pattern as physical strength. I think that in order for us to become stronger, we first need to be broken down …
WAIT – most of us don’t want to hear this. Most of us want spiritual strength to be sprinkled on us like pixie dust. This isn’t supposed to be hard. Isn’t following God supposed to be easy, fun and all in bright flannel graph?
No, unfortunately, the process of becoming spiritually strong involves pain and the circumstances of life literally tearing us apart.
The good news, though, is that this is only part of the process. Remember with physical strength, the growth comes in the next period of time when we rest and refuel our bodies. This crucial period also applies to our spiritual lives. If we take the time after the crisis to rest in Christ and feed our souls with His Word and His love, then He will grow us.
But some of us will never get to the growth phase because we lose hope and faith during the trials. We think that if God loved us, He wouldn’t allow the trials. But maybe God allows the trials because He loves us and wants us to grow stronger. Maybe our greatest trials can become our greatest catalyst for growth and future ministry. Click To Tweet
Strength training isn’t always fun – it can be strenuous, painful, and stinky. But if we keep our eyes on the Lord and stay focused on Him, He CAN use those trials to grow us into mighty warriors for Him!